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American Federation for Aging Research Announces Recipients of Irving S. Wright and Vincent Cristofalo Scientific Awards
Date:4/2/2013

istic insights have all been pivotal in our understanding of this novel method of aging regulation.”

A microbiologist, Dr. Ruvkun is co-discoverer of microRNAs (miRNAs) as central regulators of gene expression and development. These regulatory molecules have been implicated in a wide range of normal and pathological activities, including embryonic development, blood-cell specialization, muscle function, heart disease and viral infections.

Their discovery has opened new fields of research. His lab has also made significant discoveries in the regulation of aging and metabolism.

Cristofalo Award Recognizes “Rising Stars”

The Vincent Cristofalo Rising Star Award in Aging Research is named in honor of the late Dr. Cristofalo, who dedicated his career to aging research and to encouraging young scientists to investigate important problems in the biology of aging. The award is conferred annually in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Aging Association (AGE). The winner has an opportunity to give a talk on his or her research work at a special symposium at the meeting. The award was established in 2008.

In nominating Dr. Longo, one scientist stated that he, “has been a key player in studies of the basic molecular pathways mediating dietary restriction / stress / longevity responses.” Following success in lab studies that showed that fasting could induce the same physiological responses as long-term dietary restriction, Dr. Longo showed in human studies, “that a four-five day fast was needed to produce the same responses. He convinced surgeons and oncologists to embark on preliminary studies. Surgical trauma was reduced and the side-effects of chemotherapy were dramatically reduced.” He has started a large clinical trial at three major medical centers that looks at the effects of food deprivation on advanced breast and lung cancer.

Dr. Longo, a biochemist, is interested in understanding the fundamental mechani
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